The Showmanship of B2B Marketing: Top 3 Lessons from the Festival Stage

July 26, 2023

By Theresa Meis

I was 22, a year out of college, and finding my footing as a marketing writer. My whole career – my whole life! – lay before me.

And then (according to my parents) I ran away to join the circus. In reality, I joined a performance troupe at the local Renaissance Festival. I didn’t even get to leave town.

Within a year I met a guy, fell in love, and we started a fire show (that old cliche). Together with seven of our closest friends, we spent the next two decades perfecting the art of marketing. Oh, and fire dancing. But, to be honest, without the marketing skills, our technical skills alone wouldn’t earn us bookings.

Yes, my friend! Entertainers – especially scrappy street festival performers – live and breathe marketing!

Join me on the stage and I’ll explain.

B2B Marketing and Entertainment: More Alike Than You Might Think

Fun fact: Every last content marketing writer at TopRank Marketing also works in entertainment. From podcasting to performing music, pun-slinging to pyro, we each have one foot in B2B marketing and the other foot on the stage.

The B2B marketing and entertainment worlds overlap in more ways than one might imagine. It’s true that creativity is a big part of this overlap. After all, we have written time and time again about the vital role creativity plays in effective B2B marketing. The folks at LinkedIn* have even conducted extensive research proving its value.

But it’s more than that. Marrying the art of entertainment with the science of B2B marketing unlocks a powerful degree of insight that drives truly impactful marketing.

So, without further ado, I will share the top three ways that working as an entertainer made me a better B2B marketer.

1. Demand generation fills the seats

Hawking is the age-old art of hollering to a crowd that you have something amazing to offer them (in exchange for their money). When you’re performing at a festival, it’s also how you attract an audience to your show.

Nothing teaches you the art of generating demand more than competing with the sights, sounds, and smells of an enormous event to draw an audience. It’s essentially demand generation boot camp.

Through this boot camp, I learned to apply several key B2B marketing techniques:

  • Influencer marketing: Targeting the influencer of a group is a lot more powerful than trying to snag every passing individual. If you land the influencer, they’ll bring their friends along – and nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd!
  • Personalization: What inspires a family with young children to attend a fire show is going to be a lot different than what draws a group of 20-somethings. You need an arsenal of personalized quips to get a diverse audience in the seats.
  • A/B testing: Imagine seeing the face of every viewer who DIDN’T click on your ad. Welcome to hawking! However, this immediate feedback enables you to engage in real-time A/B testing. Change a …read more

    Source:: Top Rank Blog